September 17th, 2010
11:21 AM ET

What's the best way to determine poverty?

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

As the nation struggles with its worst economy in a generation, it's hardly a surprise that the government officially considers more people as being poor.

Related: Poverty in the U.S. spikes

The official poverty rate for 2009 was 14.3 percent – the highest since 1994 – up from 13.2 percent in 2008. The number of people living in poverty in 2009 was estimated at 43.6 million – roughly one in seven Americans – up from 39.8 million in 2008.

The full report contains a wealth of information on levels of income, poverty and health insurance in this country.

As I wrote here a year ago, the poverty rate is something of a fraud because the government still uses a formula that was introduced in 1964 based on data from 1955.

For those who don't remember 1955: Ike was in the White House; the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama; Disneyland opened in California and the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.

Filed under: David Schechter • Opinion
September 17th, 2010
11:19 AM ET

Political Theater: Is new Angle ad beef or just bull?

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

(CNN) - If you want to rope and tie a western politico these days, perhaps nothing works faster than suggesting he or she is extending a big "Howdy, Pardner," to illegal immigrants. That is what Republican Sharron Angle has done in her latest attack ad aimed at Nevada Democratic Senator Harry Reid.

"Illegals sneaking across our border putting Americans' safety and jobs at risk," the announcer begins over black and white video of people creeping in the night, "and what does Harry Reid do? He comes out opposed to Arizona's tough new immigration law. Nevada families struggling with the nation's highest unemployment. Harry Reid? He votes to give special tax breaks to illegal aliens and to give illegals Social Security benefits even for the time they were here illegally. Harry Reid: The best friend an illegal alien every had."

That's a rough ride, as they say in rodeo. But how much is beef and how much is bull?

Filed under: Raw Politics • Tom Foreman
September 17th, 2010
10:02 AM ET
September 17th, 2010
09:52 AM ET

New York Republican sends stinky message

Cheryl Robinson

New York (CNN) - Whew!! Something stinks! But before you run to take out the trash, check the stack of mail you just carried inside.

A few thousand New York household received an odoriferous gift in the mail from Carl Paladino, the Republican nominee for governor – and it doesn't smell like roses.

Paladino's campaign mailed out garbage-scented fliers declaring "Something Stinks in Albany" and featuring photos of seven New York Democrats whose political careers were marred by scandal.

"It's basically a folder and then when you open it, when the oxygen hits the card the stink starts," Paladino explained to Anderson Cooper on "AC360" Thursday night.

Full story

Filed under: 360º Follow • Raw Politics
September 17th, 2010
09:45 AM ET
September 17th, 2010
09:30 AM ET
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